Training Theatre Artists to Make a Difference
Who or what inspires your writing the most?
It stems from certain images that pop up in the head. I’m not basing the story off of specific people. People may find themselves in the character in an unconscious way. In the process, I just tried to create the circumstances that justify the images in my head.
What message or lesson do you want your audience to draw from Ad Nauseam?
There isn’t a particular message I want the audience to derive from this piece that satirizes technology and advertising. In today’s world, that is something I want the audience to think about. Ultimately I tried to portray this as a complex situation. People make fun of advertising or have unkind things to say about technology. What’s interesting about theater is that you have to focus on what’s in front of you. Aside from devices, you have to pay attention in a concerted way. I hope that this piece has some sort of impact on the way people think about their dependence on devices and how this affects their relationships with others.
What has been the most challenging aspect of bringing this play to life? How did you overcome it?
There’s a support system, such as other writers who can give feedback on your work. It’s also easy to get discouraged at key points partly because it just has to do with preserving and getting all the story elements in place. Also, continuing to refine those elements once you get to the rehearsal process as you discover new things. I’ve never spent this long on this type of project, so it’s been a valuable learning process.
Is there a particular course or set of courses that prepared you to be the writer you are today?
Going back to high school, an AP English course that dealt with rhetorical strategies and writing approaches. There was one section that dealt with satire, which was something I really enjoyed. I responded to satire and creating satirical pieces of my own was very valuable to me. A satirical mindset has formed the writing of the play. There are also creative writing workshops that I took in undergrad. Even now for the playwriting seminar, we read our work aloud and build on that as a class. It is very helpful to have a large number of people provide opinions in order to get you out of your mindset and look at things objectively.